Monthly Archives: June 2007

Long Time, No See

I realize it has been a while since I have been here. Truth is, I have too many blogs and publications going to keep up with!

Health wise, I was in the hospital shorly after New Years with chest pain, which began to shoot down my left arm. The initial EKG in the ER showed a mild heart attack had occurred “in the past” but during my three day stay in the hospital, no signs an occurring attack were present. I am still due to visit the Cardiologist for further investigation, as I have had more light episodes of the same pain.

The neuropathy has improved a great deal, but there are still days when I have episodes of intensity.

I completed my first year evaluation in the Virxsys study, and at my last visit to the infectous desease specialist, my numbers were OK, but the viral load was creeping up a bit. We are watching it closely, and I am back on the quarterly watch.

I have had two episodes of upper respiratory infections, one currently clearing up as I write. I still battle the irritable bowel thing, most likely due to all the meds I am on.

Speaking of meds – the biggest problem I have now is with the new adventure of trying to maintain a somewhat regular schedule, including trying to apply for entrance into college. In keeping up a routine schedue and being a bit more active, I am finding it hard to stay on the RX protocol. In fact, I have missed more meds than ever because I am either distracted by the activities of the day, or simply forget. It is nearly impossible to stay on Ten prescriptions and keep a regular life like the normal joe. This is dibilitating in itself, because the meds are what helps sustain my life. I with the courts and SSD would consider this in their judgements for folk who battle serious ilnesses.


Back To The Holy Fire – part 21

“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. 9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.”

I am glad that this passage is in the New Testament, not because of the subject matter for the purpose of intent, but because it serves to show, how some things change with time and culture. Because Paul included a reference to slaves in this passage, which in no way indorses slavery as moral or valid in any society, this passage indicates that other topics relevant to today are to be treated equally in light of cultural change. The fact that this passage is in the Holy Scripture also shows that the theory of “infallibility” is suspect among some fundamentalists. Of course, some fanatics hold true to the literal interpretation here, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White Arian Resistance. We all know about them.
Such a passage leans heavily on reason and tradition, the other two legs of the stool we Episcopalians rely on to interpret the Wisdom of God. We understand that it is not reasonable to hold anyone in bondage, and that human trafficking is immoral. So why would Paul write the way he has?
I think the answer goes to simple logic. You cannot change a civilization over night, and Paul knew that. I think that Paul reasoned that before Romans and Greeks, and Persians for that matter, would change their minds about owning someone else, they first had to come to accept Jesus Christ and His teachings, and that would take a long, long time. In Paul’s day, Creaser was god on earth, just as Pharaoh was god on earth in Egypt. Those leaders demanded that people worship them, and not the God of Jesus Christ, the one true Creator. So how could they accept a moral judgement from such a God as Jesus Christ when they did not even believe in him, when in fact, they persecuted those who followed Him? Therefore, Paul reasoned that he must give the only godly advice he could to the culture of that day, because revolutionary change was a long way off. He hints at this at the end of the passage – “…there is no partiality with God…” All people are equal in the sight of God. This is not the only place Paul states this. Check out Galatians 3:28 _
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Paul was doing well during his missionary journeys, when he wrote most of his letters. I believe he was in a political process to try to undo some of the cultural practices that were inhumane, such as slavery. Those things took time then, just as they do today.
Another important factor to look at is hermeneutics (how we interpret passages) and the exegesis of the passages (their contextual meaning). You may want to look at a paragraph from my essay on sexuality at http://angelrave.net/Documents/Sexual%20Identity%20And%20Orientation.doc .

Cultural circumstances always come into play in historical content of a written document. Slavery was already a cultural normality in the pagan cultures prior to the emergence of the ministry of Jesus. It was something to be dealt with. This is what Paul is attempting to do in this passage. Instead of condoning it, he is trying to encourage all to focus on living a life after God, to get their priority on the creator first, which could lead them and guide them to truth. At the foundation of that truth is a life of goodness, which is a fundamental practice of the Franciscan.


Back To The Holy Fire – part 20

Back to the Holy Fire – a study in Ephesians

“The First Commandment with Promise”

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”Honor your father and mother”–this is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

In addition, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4

When I think of this passage in terms of relevance for society today, I think of the millions of fatherless children, and those that are in abusive situations. In America alone, over 44 percent of children live in a home that is totally without the influence and support of a loving father. Mothers must be mom and dad, homemaker and provider. It is not an easy task. In Africa, many children left without both parents due to AIDS or other epidemics and the tribal and political violence that murder hundreds of thousands in war. Orphans are lefts to salvage trash for meals, and sleep in the defenseless cold nights.
I would have a hard time telling any of them the advice that St. Paul is giving to children in the opening of this passage, without first attaching the responsibility of the adults that he goes on to give in the balance. The key phrase for me here is this: “do not provoke your children to anger…” The King James is more direct here because it connects the word “wrath” to the indignation of the Almighty. In other words, parents, be good parents. Adults of this world, lets fix the root causes of unhappy unions and homes. Let us fix the immigration problems by fixing the economic conditions of the third world countries that live in poverty, and raise families out of their distress. Adults, let us learn how the heavenly Father loves us, so that we in turn can love those He has entrusted to us. Let us pay attention to two things, Paul says, instruction of the Lord (wisdom) and the discipline of the Lord (self-love and ethics). We can pay attention to these things as adults by developing them first in our lives, and then living them out for the younger ones to see and imitate.
It is then that respect will be developed. I was always taught as a child that if I wanted to be respected, I needed to act respectful. What I wanted most I needed to give to others first. To honor a mother and father (with promise) presupposes in the Hebrew mind that the mother and father are honorable. That they live out the ethics and values God has given them, and that they honorably pass those along to their progeny. Children will have no trouble respecting these kinds of parents, and certainly will find truth in the promise of long life.